July 8, 2023
Whoop Whoop!!! We headed on back towards to Na Pali coast, this time for a hiking adventure!! This hike was gorgeous!! We started off by hiking down into the canyon. Stopping at the bottom for lunch, we ate with the most beautiful view of the water and bright green cliffs, while standing on the edge of the red clay canyon. It truest was breathtaking! Wilder and Alex were great team motivators as we started making our way back up the canyon. The second half of the hike is more challenging, but everyone absolutely crushed it and the whole team kept their spirits high! We headed back to camp to do some late afternoon boogie boarding, and all-around trip favorite!!
We woke up early and were ready to enjoy our last full day in Hawaii. We headed to Hanalei and picked up surfing where we left off last time, and man did the entire group look like pros. The waves were a little bigger than last time, and everyone had a blast putting their surfing skills to the test. Wilson was catching waves left and right even though it was only his second day surfing, and Georgia and Kemp leveled up by tandem riding the same wave – it was impressive! After surfing, we hung out on the beach and played some spike ball. Jo and Kemp really got the sport down to a T, so much so that they’ve been undefeated for days! From the beach, we walked through Hanalei a bit before grabbing an açaí bowl to cool us down and give us some much-needed energy. There’s nothing like a Hawaiian açaí bowl! After lunch, we got some rest before getting ready to celebrate such a great trip at banquet, ending the night with pizza, ice cream, and of course card games!!!
The next day we packed up our things in preparation to head back home. We enjoyed our last breakfast together, pancakes and eggs, and shared some laughs, before packing up our tents. We headed to town to do some last-minute shopping. Caroline and Cabell split their favorite shaved ice (berry berry) while Erin and Maggie explored some of the surf shops! The LODs for the day, Cabell and Fischer, lead our final Moonup on a dock overlooking the ocean. The perfect last stop in Hawai’i before heading to the airport to say goodbye! We all shed a few tears, so sad to see each other leave, but we are so so grateful for these amazing past two weeks getting to know everyone and having so much fun along the way! Thank you HWI 2A for being so awesome!!!
We love you!!!!
Anna, Maggie, and Owen
July 5, 2023
What an amazing first day on Kauai! We headed out to the Na Pali coast bright and early to hit the water to kayak, and wow was it breathtaking. Starting the morning paddling against the winds, we were so impressed with everyone’s perseverance! We were even lucky enough to have a family of dolphins stop by and swim around us while kayaking. Joe could not stop raving about how cool it was to see the dolphins so up close. There were millions of them, and you could see them jumping and swimming under our boats through the clear water!! We stopped at the most beautiful island for lunch, that can only be reached by boat. While we filled up on sandwiches and fresh fruit, some went swimming and enjoyed the beach before paddling back. Caroline and Owen plotted surprise splash attacks on some of the other kayaks on the paddle back! After all of the hard work, we cooled off in the ocean before heading back to our campsite. Georgia and Kemp kept us all entertained at the front of the van singing and dancing to every song!
Day 9 was a relaxing morning fueled by eggs, sausage, and toast. Yum! We all enjoyed our breakfast with a view of the ocean before heading into town to do some shopping and exploring! Wilson got a sweet t shirt that he is so excited to bring back home with him! While the rest of us also got some souvenirs we cannot wait to share with you! We geared up for ziplining and drove through 3000 acres of private property. The outfitters told us about all the movies that had been filmed on the tropical, mountainous land. To name a few- Indiana Joes, Jurassic Park, and the Decedents. Cabell and Erin were ziplining buddies and especially enjoyed the amazing views over the green canopy!
Day 10! Surfin USA! The morning of the Fourth we listened to some Fourth of July classics as we drove down to Hanalei to start the day off surfing! Maggie and Georgia had too many party waves to count! They were a dynamic surfing duo! Meanwhile, Joe and Wilder worked on catching their own waves. That afternoon we did a short hike to a waterfall. Of course, Alex was the first to jump in off of the side of the waterfall, with Fischer close behind him! After a refreshing waterfall swim, we spent the late afternoon boogie boarding and playing spike ball at the campsite. Kemp and Joe remain spikeball champions at the moment (although Alex and Wilder beg to differ), but we will see who takes it all at the end of the trip! We had a classic Fourth of July barbecue for dinner and topped off the night with American flag cookie cake and fireworks put on by neighboring campsites! All in all, it was an epic Fourth of July!! Still can’t believe the trip is almost over, but there’s no doubt that we’re making the most of the time we have left, but we wish they could stay with us all summer!
Maggie, Anna, and Owen
Here are some shoutouts from your kids!
Erin-Sup fam! Miss y’all. Having so much fun in Hawaii surfing and diving! Can’t wait to show y’all all the cool pics. Tell Chief I miss him and happy early birthday Dad (hope you like your gift) see you soon. Love you guys!!!! 🙂 ☀️🤙🌊
Caroline- Hey fam! I miss you guys a lot but I don’t ever wanna leave. And say a big hello to Josie, Ava and Angela. Mahaloooo:) hope ur having fun in Hawaii too. Love y’all
Kemp- hey mom and dad, the trip is so fun and all the activities are amazing. Hope everything back home is well. I miss y’all – SHOCKA🤙🏼 shout out Anita
Georgia – Hello family… I’m having so much fun! Miss y’all a lot. Shout out ripski time and superstar life love y’all. My leaders and my new friends are so awesome I’m never leaving. I love you scout.
Alex – Hey miss you guys hope your birthdays were fun. Idk if beba is there but if she is tell her I miss her too. The trip has been so fun and I’ll tell y’all about it when I’m back. The group is awesome and I wish the trip was longer. Love y’all
Wilson – Hey miss you guys hope your trip to Greece was fun. The trip has been super fun and I can’t wait to see y’all soon. I miss Rebel and Cody a lot
Fischer- Hey Mom and Dad! I am having lots of fun here and have made lots of long lasting memories. Can’t wait to see y’all when I get back and scuba it up back in Texas. Love y’all! 🤙🏼🤙🏼🤙🏼
Wilder – Hey Mom and Dad, I’m having a great time in Hawaii. Scuba diving was so fun but I had some trouble with equalizing but as long as I went slow I was fine. Miss y’all and Tia. Love you
Joe – Hey Laura and dad I’m having a great time in Hawaii. It’s really pretty and we’ve done a lot of cool things I’ll tell y’all about when I get back. I hope y’all are doing well and the dogs are chilling. We’re going surfing tomorrow. I love y’all 🤙
Maggie- Hiiiii! I can’t wait to see y’all in a few days and eat so much sushi. I hope you had the best, most American July 4th I can’t wait to tell y’all so many funny stories from this trip and how amazing this group is! Love y’all the mostest!🔥🔥
Cabell – Hey fam, I miss y’all! I hope everything is good at home. I am having the best time and have made some life long memories and friends. I love my counselors and new friends and am never leaving! Can’t wait to see y’all! I love you!! 🤙🏼🤙🏼🤙🏼
July 2, 2023
Aloha families of Hawaii 2A!
We are excited to say we have safely arrived to the bright and beautiful island of Kauai and are excited to share with you what we’ve been up to for the past couple days!
We woke up early and excited to put to practice our new diving skills, so we headed straight to the beach to do a shore dive with our instructors. This was the first day we actually got to dive in the ocean, and the group was elated to see some fish and expand their diving skills. We geared up, wetsuits and all, and walked into the ocean but not before our buddy checks! Alex and Fisher were particularly excited to get in the water, and it wasn’t soon after descent that we saw the ocean come alive. Cabell spotted a crown of thorns right away, which looks like a big green starfish, and Wilder also spotted the dive spot’s main point of interest, the teardropped butterflyfish! After such an exciting morning, we decided to break for lunch. The second dive of the day was just as fun as the first, and the group was ecstatic about getting to dive in the ocean for the first time!
After a successful day diving, we headed to a beautiful beach to rest before our manta ray snorkel night!!! Georgia and Caroline laughed along while Wilson and Wilder were able to crack open a coconut for the group to enjoy! That night we headed to the snorkeling spot by boat. We watched the sunset and geared up our wet suits to jump in with the mantas! Diving into the pitch black water, we held on to surfboards that had been rigged with lights meant to attract plankton, the main food source of our 12 foot mantas, and waited. Joe was so excited that we were lucky enough to see so many of them that night! This was a trip highlight for everyone for sure!!
Day 6!!! Scuba certification day!! YAY!! I am proud to say we are now PADI SCUBA certified! Everyone crushed all their boat dives today and showed off all of the skills they have learned over the past couple days. On the first dive of the day, we saw a baby Hawaiian monk seal, which is an extremely endangered species! Maggie H was super excited about seeing this one! Our instructor also helped us spot a baby octopus.After being back on the boat for a lunch break, we all had fun jumping back into the water and enjoying sandwiches before our last dive of the day. Kemp proved himself to be a master diver, conserving so much air that he was able to stay down diving with the second group when his original group went back up to the surface. We still don’t know how he does it!
Day 7! We traveled to the green island of Kauai!! Erin spent the day working on her large collection of friendship bracelets while the rest of us got some time to close our eyes or enjoy our books on the plane. We safely arrived at our beach front campsite and set up our tents! We loved the Big Island, and have had so much fun with this AWESOME group of kids!! Tomorrow morning we are kayaking the Na Pali Coast, and we are so excited for what adventure is in store for us on Kauai!!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with us!
Maggie, Anna, and Owen
June 30, 2023
Aloha from the big island of Hawaii! We are so excited to share with you all of our adventures so far. Kemp and Georgia were the first to arrive with smiling faces, and excitedly greeted everyone as they arrived! We filled our time in the airport playing games and getting to know one another. Georgia was exceptionally talented at the game Heads Up. Once everyone arrived, we threw Cabell an unforgettable birthday party in Hawaii with pizza, cupcakes, party hats, a birthday sash, leis, and of course, loudly singing Happy Birthday……in the Kona airport! Back at our beautiful campsite tucked beneath the trees, with a perfect opening for star gazing, we had our first Moonup setting the tone for the amazing trip we have ahead of us!!
Thanks to some minor jet lag, everyone was awake in time to see the sunrise, which from our campsite in the southern mountains of the Big Island was stunning. We figured the best way to accompany the beautiful view was with pancakes and fresh cut mango, pineapple, and papaya. Maggie H perfected her cutting skills, cutting all the fruit for us to enjoy. Today we had a free day and what better way to spend our first day in Hawaii than exploring and eating traditional Hawaiian food. Owen, who had previously lived on the island was able to show us some amazing spots! We ventured up the east coast past the volcanoes and into the rainforest to end up at our first stop, a lava cave! We put on our headlamps and journeyed into the cave; a tunnel of basalt formed by a lava flow. It was a great first stop to understand the geology of the island and the rock that makes the big island’s beautiful black sand beaches! Our next stop was a beautiful waterfall which we would have never been able to find if it weren’t for Owen. We had a short walk and a small river crossing to our lunch spot, an island with the view of a waterfall. Joe and Wilson eagerly swam to the other side of the swimming hole to jump off a rock ledge by the waterfall. It was a thrilling experience! Erin and Cabell also relaxed on a rock underneath the waterfall, watching everyone jump into the water. We enjoyed some music and group games back at our lunch spot before dropping our things at the van and heading to the top of the waterfall. This was a short hike through the plants and worth it to say the least. At the top, there was a series of small waterfalls and swimming holes, and stunning views. We all enjoyed gazing (from a safe distance) over the ledge to the waterfall falling below. Our final stop of the daytime was a beautiful Japanese garden in Hilo, we admired the architecture and beauty of the garden and of course climbed a banyan tree. These trees were fascinating to all due to their unique root and limb system- several trees growing together into one, massive, beautiful, perfect climbing tree. To round out the day we made a quick stop to get local poke bowls, which originated in Hawaii! They enjoyed it all around. Finally, on our way back to camp we made one last stop, hoping to see the recently erupted Kilauea volcano. Unfortunately, it was too foggy to see any of the lava flow but we did still get to see the chain of volcanoes that have formed this beautiful island.
First day of diving!! We arrived at the dive shop eager to jump in the pool and start mastering SCUBA skills. Everyone gathered and familiarized themselves with their gear and the day began. Everyone was working very hard with our instructors; these are long days of doing skills many times and the kids took on the day like champs! On our way back to our campsite after a long day in the pool, we stopped at the Southernmost point in the US! Here we admired the green cliffs dramatically meeting the ocean. We found a spot to sit watching the sunset and waves collide with the cliffs around us. As we ventured further south, we made our way to our campsite and enjoyed some hotdogs, hamburgers, and mac and cheese!
The next morning, we headed back to the pool to perfect the last of our SCUBA skills. To celebrate all of our hard earned work we stopped for ice cream and shaved ice before heading to an awesome swimming beach for the afternoon. Wilder was especially excited to try the famous Hawaiian shaved ice! The boys threw the football in the water before taking on Caroline and Cabell in a chicken fight.
Our amazing chiefs Alex, Kemp, and Fischer made the group some fire chickenquesadillas, creating an impressive quesadilla cooking method I might add. To top off the night we enjoyed a cookie skillet and got some sleep before our shore dive tomorrow!!
Maggie, Anna, and Owen
June 26, 2023
Hello Hawaiian Island Families!
We heard from our leaders and the group has landed safely in Hawaii! The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!